The one bird we are never short of around here are woodpeckers. We have at least five kinds. Only three of them come to the feeders: the little Downy Woodpecker, his big brother, the Hairy Woodpecker, and the Red-Bellied Woodpecker. The Red-Belly is the biggest of the bunch, but by physical size, the Blue Jay is a bigger bird.

I never realized what large birds Blue Jays are until I saw how big they are compared to the rest of our birds. Not, of course, counting the really big woodpecker who I see in the distance once in a while and the hawks and eagles.

Blue Jay still on the railing

Anyway, when the Blue Jay drops by for a meal, the other birds say “Yes sir, Mr. Jay,” and flutter off. Today, while big Mr. Jay was enjoying a little dinner, the Red-Belly decided to come by for a snack too. The Blue Jay is bigger, but other birds just don’t mess with the woodpeckers. Those birds have long beaks and hard heads and they are always in a grumpy mood. I think that’s from pounding their heads into oak trees all day long.

This is a series of pictures I got from the rather amusing event.

Blue is already there when the Red-Bellied Woodpecker arrives.

“Can we talk about this?” asks Mr. Jay.

“I don’t think so. How about you leave?” says Woody.

“This is MY feeder,” says Woody. “Take a flyer.”

“Okay, then. I’ll be flying a bit. See you around the woods,” says Jay.

The Red-Belly hung around for a while, it being dinner time. And when he was done, the Blue Jay came back and had his dinner too.  All was well but for some flurrying of feathers. As go the birds, so goes the world.

Categories: birds, Birds, Blackstone Valley, flying, Photography, Wildlife, Woodpeckers

Tags: , , , , ,

11 replies

  1. That’s pecking order for you Marilyn….


    • Normally I’d bet on the Blue Jay. They are such aggressive birds and very antagonistic to other birds … but nothing beats a bad attitude of any woodpecker. I think it’s all that pounding on trees. Gives them a permanent headache.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well at least they ‘talk’ to each other and more importantly, LISTEN. And the birds know who is the really tough bird on the block and don’t fuss at him nor rile him up. Wise creatures are birds! 😆


    • Woodpeckers are very dominant birds and have a very strong skull and a seriously lethal beak. None of the other birds try to mess with them, though I notice the Woodies tolerate little birds like finches. I guess they are so non-threatening, it’s okay to share the food with them.


  3. Marilyn–I am so sure that is exactly how the conversation went–funny captions! I feed some outdoor cats on my front porch. I knew we had Blue Jays hanging around in our trees and front shrubs, but after the cats were done eating , a Blue Jay swooped down onto my porch and started feeding on the cat kibble. The cats ‘gifted’ me one Blue Jay already, so I am not sure it the Jays are now out for revenge or what. Cats vs Jays. Dibs?


    • Jays are very aggressive to other birds, people, cats, dogs. They had some kind of virus for a while and nearly vanished, but finally seem to have come back. However bad their attitude, they are beautiful. With wings spread, what a design and color combo!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m amazed that you have woodpeckers so regularly in your garden. They’re extremely rare in gardens over here, as are jays, which we do have, but not blue ones. How stunning. Great pictures, as always, and a lovely little story. 🙂


    • We live in a woods and where there are lots of trees, there are lots of woodpeckers. We almost lost the Blue Jays through disease, but they seem to be coming back. They were amongst the most common birds when I was a kid.

      Woodpeckers are not normally feeder birds, but I think they like the food we put out. We have to put feeders back up. They’ve been down for a few weeks. One was done in by raccoons, and my fuchsia brought down another big hook. So right now, there simply are no hooks on which to hang feeders. It’s okay. It’s summer and there’s a lot of food for them, but before autumn, we need to put them back up again.

      Liked by 1 person

      • How wonderful to have all those beautiful birds around you. Glad to hear your lovely visitors are finding lots of food despite the demise of the feeders. It would make my day to see birds like that in my garden. 🙂


  5. A wonderful story of nature!

    Liked by 1 person

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